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Coffee Reduces Diabetes Risk and 4 More Drinks May Help

Coffee and Type 2 Diabetes

You may want to sip an extra cup of coffee every day to reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes, according to the results of a new study. Coffee is not the only drink that can help you with diabetes, however.

Let’s begin the discussion of which beverages may reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes by looking at the newest study from Harvard School of Public Health.

Why coffee may lower diabetes risk
This new study follows on the heels of numerous others that have linked the consumption of coffee with several health benefits. Some of those advantages include reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, liver cancer, breast cancer, hypertension, and depression.

Read more about health benefits of coffee

The new research on coffee and diabetes involved an analysis of data from three studies (more than 123,000 men and women) that spanned two decades. The diets of all the participants were evaluated every four years.

The reviewers found that

  • Men and women who increased the amount of coffee they drank daily by one cup over a four-year period had an 11 percent lower risk of type 2 diabetes over the subsequent four years when compared with people who did not increase their coffee intake
  • Participants who reduced the amount of coffee they consumed daily by more than one cup (an average of two cups less) showed a 17 percent greater risk for type 2 diabetes

Read more about why coffee may reduce diabetes risk

Numerous studies have highlighted the benefits of drinking tea, be it black, green, white, or in some cases, herbal. In fact, a new study appearing in Advances in Preventive Medicine looked at all of these options.

The investigative team evaluated infusions of green tea, black tea, and an herbal blend for diabetes (containing white tea, hawthorn berry, Chinese yam, kudzu root, Radix ophiopogonis, and Solomon seal rhizome). All of the teas demonstrated an ability to inhibit enzymes that are key in the development of diabetes.

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Two more recent studies also provide evidence of the value of tea in preventing type 2 diabetes:

  • A meta-analysis of 16 cohorts that included more than 545,000 participants found that an increase of 2 cups per day of tea was associated with a 4.6 percent reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes
  • A European cohort study involving more than 340,000 participants found that individuals who drank at least 3 cups of tea daily could have a 16 percent lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes than non-tea drinkers

Infused water
It’s been shown that consuming diet soda and other beverages sweetened with artificial sweeteners not only contributes to weight gain, it also is not beneficial for people trying to avoid type 2 diabetes or those who already have the disease. Infused water is a healthful alternative.

The advantages of infused water are (1) it’s virtually calorie-free and sugar-free, (2) it’s refreshing, (3) it provides nutrients, (4) it’s available in a wide variety of flavors (because you make it yourself!), and (4) because it’s homemade you save money. ou can make it yourself at home and save money. With all of these benefits, it seems infused water is a sensible choice in the fight against type 2 diabetes.

No, that’s not a typo; it’s doogh, a fizzy yogurt beverage that is often flavored with mint. It is common in Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey, the Balkans, and other countries in that area of the world.

Research shows that people who consumed doogh fortified with vitamin D had significantly higher levels of a hormone (adiponectin) that helps regulate glucose metabolism. Elevated levels of adiponectin have been shown to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.

If you can’t find doogh in a grocery store (an Iranian or Mideastern store may carry it), you can make your own. See the video for easy instructions.

Barley water
The grain barley is an excellent source of fiber, which aids in lowering cholesterol and in management of blood glucose levels. Barley water also can have a role in type 2 diabetes.

Although drinking barley water does not provide the same level of fiber and nutrients as does eating whole barley, this beverage is a low-calorie, healthful alternative to sugary drinks. Learn more about barley water and how to make it, and get ready to enjoy a tasty treat!

You can help prevent type 2 diabetes and manage it better by making wise beverage choices. Coffee, tea, doogh, barley water, and infused water are some healthful options to consider.

Bhupathiraju SN et al. Changes in coffee intake and subsequent risk of type 2 diabetes: three large cohorts of US men and women. Diabetologia 2014 Apr 24 pub. Online
InterAct Consortium. Tea consumption and incidence of type 2 diabetes in Europe: the ERIC-InterAct case-cohort study. PLoS One 2012; 8(5):e36910
Oboh G et al. Interaction of some commercial teas with some carbohydrate metabolizing enzymes linked with type-2 diabetes: a dietary intervention in the prevention of type-2 diabetes. Advances in Preventive Medicine 2014; 2014:534082
Yang WS et al. Tea consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes: a dose-response meta-analysis of cohort studies. British Journal of Nutrition 2014 Apr; 111(8): 1329-39

Image: Morguefile